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Highlands and Islands

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Highlands and Islands

Old 5th Aug 2007, 18:20
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Highlands and Islands

I gather that H&I operate many of the major airports in the Western Isles of Scotland and I heard a rumour that there was some kind of discount available if you buy enough landings at their airports.

Is this true or am I as bonkers as my wife says I am?

Oh, and while I am annoying you all with my questions, does anyone have any recommendations for nice airfields for a C172 with 4 Pax to visit?
Mikehotel152 is offline  
Old 5th Aug 2007, 22:12
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I have no idea whether there is a discount - you could ask the horses mouth, or at least one of the ATC's you intend visiting.

As for recommendations, I reckon that all the islands are worth visiting. When the weather is nice, there is no better flying in the UK, when it's not, there is no more interesting flying in the UK!

I believe (please correct me if I'm wrong), only Oban and Stornoway regularly hold 100LL, but may be available elsewhere by arrangement. Don't forget Broadford (Skye) and Plockton as well (Not HIAL airports).

Speak to the ATCOs at your planned destinations - in my limited experience, they are extremely helpful.
Crashondeck is offline  
Old 6th Aug 2007, 10:40
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Oban & Glenforsa of course!
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Old 6th Aug 2007, 17:51
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COD is right, only Oban and Stornoway have regular supplies of avgas.

Lots of places to go in a 172, although if it's with 4 POB you'll need care at some of them. Oban and Mull are musts. Plockton's great. Tiree, Barra, Islay, Campbeltown all plenty runway (or sand!) and well worth the visit. Gigha, Coll, Colonsay, Bute all possible but do your performance calcs before you set out. Benbecula's the only way to get to the wonderful beaches on South Uist but it's a jobsworth airfield in a desolate location.

Have fun!

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Old 6th Aug 2007, 19:28
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Old 6th Aug 2007, 23:24
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Lovely set of Pics. I think I can name them all but an index would behelpful!

For some light entertainment before setting off put aside a week or so to read the "Oban open or not" thread
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Old 7th Aug 2007, 07:59
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Thanks for the input

I've been doing a little research of my own, including reading the infamous Oban thread () and I'm glad to have most of the above on my short-list.

The advice on performance calcs is carefully noted and had already channelled my thinking away from runways of less than about 700 metres, but I've yet to do any formal cals of my own.

Does anyone have any views on the more outlying islands? I'm not too keen about the distances over water, especially 4-up which would probably preclude the carrying of a life-raft due to the extra weight.
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Old 7th Aug 2007, 12:18
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I take it you mean the Outer Hebrides? (ie Barra to Lewis). It all depends on what you want. The outer islands have a different atmosphere I think to the others. They are remote but have the best runways (Benbecula and Stornoway). The scenery is very diverse - mountains, moors, white sandy beaches, sea lochs etc etc. Stunning on a nice day. They are also less touristy than Skye and Mull which may or may not be what you want.

I have my own thoughts on liferafts and think you would better with survival suits. With regard to being nervous over water (which we all are), should we not be at least as nervous over places where the fields are small, the land is hilly, the ground boggy?
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Old 7th Aug 2007, 17:05
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MH152: I think you're being rather pessimistic rejecting anything less than 700m. But don't take my word for it - take a look at your perf charts and you'll see 500m is possible in many conditions in a full 172.

Shortest crossing from Skye to Benbecula is only 13nm so if it's a nice day there's plenty scope for just going high enough to glide to the other side in the event of donkeys taking the huff. But having got down to Barra you will probably want to go direct to Tiree so I'd echo crashondeck and say take survival suits. Only place I know that rents them is Andrew Bruce at Far North Aviation in Wick which is probably a bit out of your way. I also have some which I'd be prepared to rent to you if you'd like to pm me.

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Old 7th Aug 2007, 17:24
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From memory I think you can rent all survival equipment including immersion suits from SEMS aerosafe
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Old 10th Aug 2007, 10:46
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Thanks for the advice chaps, especially re the survival suits.I've been off-line due to aerial problems (don't ask) but will give this my attention on sunday.

Mikehotel152 is offline  
Old 15th Jun 2008, 11:05
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proposed strike at Highlands & Islands Airports

Industrial Action at HIAL Airports

23 June & 4 July 2008

Trades union Unite will stage industrial action over pay at our airports on the above dates. Unite's membership comprises fire fighters, leading fire fighters and engineers.

HIAL is currently assessing the likely impact of this action but must make clear that it has the potential to cause major disruption at its airports on these dates.

- See HIAL web site!
edinv is offline  
Old 15th Jun 2008, 12:17
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Orkney used to do a long weekend pass includng parking for all its fields.

Just phone ATC up and they will tell you or invent something to suit.

Personally Orkney is the cherry on the cake when it comes to Island flying. Cracking views and tons to see once you get there.

Here is some youtubes from the highland pilots doing what they love most.




All credit to Paul Gibbs who put them together.

HIAL used to do an out of hours excemption but you will have to see there web site to see if they still do it.
mad_jock is offline  
Old 15th Jun 2008, 20:08
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You will get fuel at Inverness and Wick, too.
Not sure about Sumburgh and Kirkwall but Pooleys says yes. Give them a ring.
You will need to have alternate plans because the weather changes so quickly.
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Old 15th Jun 2008, 21:25
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Here is some youtubes from the highland pilots doing what they love most.
I have just spent almost half an hour watching those wonderful videos.
M_J - you lucky, lucky person to be able to spend your working life flying around such a beautiful part of the world. Thanks to your colleague for filming it.
DX Wombat is offline  
Old 15th Jun 2008, 22:15
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Thats it on a nice day DX.

Try not to get fuel at wick it will cost you an arm, a leg and proberly your house.

Kirkwall and Sumburgh still have islanders based there so have avgas.

Stornaway has limited stocks as well but your best to let AirBP know your coming and a rough estimate how much you will need to uplift.

Benbecular and Barra have not a drop of avgas

As your in a C172 I would really recommend a visit to Barra
mad_jock is offline  
Old 15th Jun 2008, 22:29
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Marvellous videos on YouTube.

Will be trying those approaches soon if it is CAVOK and 270/05. Otherwise I will stay in the tea bar.

Cowardly but alive.

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Old 16th Jun 2008, 08:06
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Most of the islands have filing stations if you can run on mogas.

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Old 16th Jun 2008, 16:13
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Back to the original posting - do HIA still offer a landing fee discount for touring around the Western Isles? (nothing on their web-site)
snchater is offline  
Old 16th Jun 2008, 23:23
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No, despite my best efforts in the years I worked for the miserable tossers, HIAL didn't and still don't give anything away for nowt, they can't understand that 10 aircraft at 10 a time is better than 0 aircraft at 30 a landing.

For the most part, they are still a jobsworth organisation.

However there is the occasional free landing fee voucher in Pilot magazine.
niknak is offline  

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